Yosemite Nature Notes: Horsetail Fall in Full Technicolor

Horsetail Fall, when illuminated by the setting sun, is one of the magical aspects of the Yosemite Valley. Screen captures from Yosemite Nature Notes.

When the afternoon sun illuminates Horsetail Fall in Yosemite National Park, it can be difficult to believe it's only the sun igniting the waterfall.

The feathery tendrils of gold that descend at that time of day from this waterfall off El Capitan create a spectacular image, one that can only be seen if you are in the right position, at the right time of day, with cooperative meteorological conditions, and with enough snowmelt plunging down into the Yosemite Valley to snag the sundown.

Ansel Adams is thought to have captured the scene in the 1930s -- but, of course, in black and white.

Watch the following 8-minute installment of Yosemite Nature Notes from Yosemite videographer Steven Bumgardner and you can not only learn some of the natural history behind this phenomenon, but also get some tips on how to capture a photograph of it yourself.